How Great Thou Art

I have been going to church as long as I can remember. I wasn’t brought up in a Christian home per say. Many of those around me where Christian and from them I got to know more about God. Over time, I was able to understand what a real relationship with Christ meant.

hqdefaultThere are times when I look around and wonder how things came into existence. Like at night when I take pictures of the moon and the stars. I can’t help but wonder about them and how they were created. My mind will get wondering to clouds too. When I look up and can see shapes in clouds, I believe they are for me to enjoy and learn from.

Have you ever just stopped to notice the small things around you and then you get that Ah HA moment and realize it isn’t small at all. It may be for God, but for us we can never create the wonders of our universe. We don’t create the cute puppy dogs and angels in the clouds. God does. But there are times when I wonder how God created them.  

Then I think about how wonderful God really is. He put everything in order. He provided a way for us to overcome sin. And that provision is Christ Jesus.

How great Thou artWhat got me thinking about this is the song “How Great Thou Art”. Having heard this hymn from the time I was little, at times I took it for granted. But now when I hear it I think of all the wonders around us. I think of sweet Dena Allen at my church that loved this. She got the biggest smile on her face and a sense of peace when it played on the organ. She is with the Lord now, but I can’t help but think of her when we sing this song. There would be times tears would be streaming from her face.

My church is an older congregation and when this song is sung, the voices raise and there is a joy about them. I notice it more when we sing songs they may not know as well. But as soon as How Great Thou Art starts, there is a difference in the house of the Lord. This song touches me in different ways. I guess it depends on what is going on in my life. I want to include a awesome version of this song. And I got chills as soon as I heard it.

 Video – Click Here to Listen to How Great Thou Art

History of the Hymn How Great Thou Art

Stuart was inspired to write his hymn over a period of fourteen years and first included it in his gospel magazine Grace and Peace on the 15th April 1949. His inspiration came from his own personal experiences in the Carpathian Mountains, and from hearing Ivan Prokhanoff’s Russian hymn Mighty God based on Carl Boberg’s Swedish poem ‘O Store Gud

About the Poem (From Wikipedia)

200px-Carl_BobergThe inspiration for the poem came when Boberg was walking home from church near Kronobäck, Sweden, and listening to church bells. A sudden awe-inspiring storm gripped Boberg’s attention, and then just as suddenly as it had made its violent entrance, it subsided to a peaceful calm which Boberg observed over Mönsterås Bay. According to J. Irving Erickson:

Carl Boberg and some friends were returning home to Mönsterås from Kronobäck, where they had participated in an afternoon service. Nature was at its peak that radiant afternoon. Presently a thundercloud appeared on the horizon, and soon sharp lightning flashed across the sky. Strong winds swept over the meadows and billowing fields of grain. The thunder pealed in loud claps. Then rain came in cool fresh showers. In a little while the storm was over, and a rainbow appeared.

When Boberg arrived home, he opened the window and saw the bay of Mönsterås like a mirror before him… From the woods on the other side of the bay, he heard the song of a thrush…the church bells were tolling in the quiet evening. It was this series of sights, sounds, and experiences that inspired the writing of the song.

According to Boberg’s great-nephew, Bud Boberg, “My dad’s story of its origin was that it was a paraphrase of Psalm 8 and was used in the ‘underground church’ in Sweden in the late 1800s when the Baptists and Mission Friends were persecuted.”The author, Carl Boberg himself gave the following information about the inspiration behind his poem:

“It was that time of year when everything seemed to be in its richest colouring; the birds were singing in trees and everywhere. It was very warm; a thunderstorm appeared on the horizon and soon thunder and lightning. We had to hurry to shelter. But the storm was soon over and the clear sky appeared.

“When I came home I opened my window toward the sea. There evidently had been a funeral and the bells were playing the tune of ‘When eternity’s clock calling my saved soul to its Sabbath rest.’ That evening, I wrote the song, ‘O Store Gud.’

If you would like to read more about this hymn click here

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